North Yorkshire Police tells drivers to 'expect the unexpected' after this incident on the A169 near Malton

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This was the scene facing police and motorists on the A169 near Malton yesterday.

A tractor had to swerve to avoid a car, causing the plough it was carrying to fall off into the road, blocking it in both directions.

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Police arrived at the scene near Wykeham within minutes of receiving a call at about 4.10pm and managed traffic in the area to keep everyone safe.

The tractor driver arranged for a forklift to attend and clear the implement, and the road was clear by 4.45pm.

But that wasn’t the only disruption encountered by motorists on the A169 that day.

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Earlier, at about 11am, a clutch of chickens were wandering round the road near Pickering.

Officers attended and helped members of the public round them up.

Now North Yorkshire Police is reminding motorists to 'expect the unexpected' on the county's 6,000-mile road network, particularly the rural routes.

Police advice to motorists

The best drivers read the road ahead and anticipate potential hazards. Look out for upcoming bends, hidden dips, blind summits and concealed entrances.

Country roads often have sharp bends. To stay in control and give yourself time to react to unexpected hazards, brake before the bend, not in it.

Overgrown verges, bushes and trees on country roads can block your view and potentially obscure an oncoming hazard. Always drive at a speed which will allow you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear (double that on a single track road). Allow more time to stop on wet or slippy surfaces.

The speed limit is a limit not a target. The national speed limit on single carriage roads is 60mph, but there will be times you need to drive under that in order to drive correctly for the conditions. In fact most people do on these roads – the average free flow speed is 48mph.

If you get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle be patient. Dips in roads, bends and other junctions joining your road often hide oncoming vehicles, so unless it's absolutely safe, don't overtake.

If passing more vulnerable road users such as horse riders, cyclists and walkers, pass wide and slow.

Even if you’re familiar with a country road, never take it for granted as the conditions can be different every time.